Photographers develop plan to put BPPA back in the picture

By Jean Morgan

The British Press Photographers Association is to reform, publish an annual book of members’ pictures and stage an exhibition.

The association is aimed at all UK press photographers but organisers are particularly keen to enlist members from local and regional newspapers, including freelances, and from the tabloids.

Most of those trying to restart BPPA – first established 12 years ago – are photographers working for national newspapers or magazines who know few colleagues outside Fleet Street.

An informal meeting of those interested in kick-starting the revival was held at the Crown pub on Clerkenwell Green, London, this week and the first formal meeting is planned for 30 January. Members will concentrate on producing a year book for November containing photographs from every member, and on organising an exhibition of their work.

Before the association fell into abeyance about five years after its launch, its yearly Assignments book of pictures was a special feature.

Among the founders were Eamonn McCabe, then of The Guardian but now freelancing, John Downing, who worked for the Daily Express, and Suresh Karadia, ex-Independent, who is one of the photographers trying to get the association started again.

The original aim of the BPPA was “to promote and inspire the highest levels of photography within our profession, to encourage high standards of conduct and professional integrity and to strive for the better application of press photography”.

Backers of the new BPPA say: “Those aims are even more apt today, with widespread public misunderstanding of our role, and a need for an organisation that respects press photographers’ high standards, professional communicators in their own right.”

An informal meeting on 19 December was attended by Karadia, Peter J Jordan, Evening Standard; Eddie Mulholland, Daily Telegraph; John Pemberton, Surrey Herald; Jeff Moore, National News; Graham Barclay, Daily Telegraph; and Sion Touhig, Network Photographers, among others.

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